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Former Student Faces Criminal Charge Following Nude Photo Scandal

By Jim Melwert

LANSDALE, Pa. (CBS) -- A former North Penn High School student is facing a criminal charge stemming from the nude-photo scandal that rocked the school earlier this year.

A Drop Box account was discovered in March by a student who was using her ex-boyfriend's computer. She contacted police, and a wide-spread investigation began.

Now, months later, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman says one person is being charged, 18-year-old Brandon Berlin.


Brandon Berlin
(Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)


Ferman says their investigation shows Berlin is the one who set up the account, compiled the photos, and then "sent out the link to the account."

"Ultimately there were a number of minor boys who shared images with their friend, Mr. Berlin, who then took it upon himself to set up the Drop Box account and then share it even more broadly."



Ferman says the photos are of girls in various stages of undress, and she says numerous others could have been charged under the Sexting statute, but they didn't feel that was an effective use of resources.

"We made the decision that the most appropriate course of action was to file the charge against the individual who was responsible for the mass distribution of these images and not to charge all these individuals who cooperated in the investigation and had minor roles."

While pointing out she is not intending to place blame on any of the victims, Ferman says this needs to be a teachable moment, saying not only could such actions lead to criminal charges, but also:

"They have to understand when you share something, even with just one person, once you share something online electronically, you can't get it back and you lose complete control over where it goes."

Berlin is facing a misdemeanor charge of Transmission of Sexually Explicit Images by a Minor. He was 17 when he started compiling photos, so a juvenile petition was filed, but his case has been certified into adult court.

Berlin's attorney Matthew Quigg says his client is remorseful and cooperating:

"It was never his intent to hurt anybody and certainly there was no intention on anybody's part that it was spread around the school the way that it was."

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